ace me to the North Pole
Philanthropist and adventurer Gavin Bate aims to ski more than 550km from Resolute Bay in northern Canada to the magnetic North Pole. As part of the expedition, his aim is to raise £22,000 for the Moving Mountains Trust, an international development charity that he founded more than 10 years ago.
The ‘race’ to the pole will see donors supporting the campaign pitted against Gavin in his journey across the thinning Arctic sea ice toward the Pole. Every pound donated by the ‘Donation Team’ is worth 25 metres of Gavin’s trek, and as he gets ever closerto the finish line the Donation Team will race to achieve their target of £22,000 worth of donations.
Everyone can follow the daily progress made by Gavin and the Donation Team via the constantly updated race record at racemetothepole.com and via a host of other social media streams. Details of the terrain, conditions, ecology and history of the area will be included in the updates in order to help those watching get a real understanding of what life is like in the Arctic
The journey will be physically and mentally demanding; Gavin will be pulling up to 80kg of food and equipment in a sled, sometimes over 20 foot high ice rubble. However, the most challenging factor is likely to be the mental and emotional trauma, known as ‘Polar shock’, whereby the cold and the remoteness cause depression and an inability to act coherently.
“It is not always just the big things that are important” says Gavin, “It can be the sum of a hundred small things that add up to a problem; self discipline and mental attitude are as important as physical strength on a journey such as this”.
Gavin is used to extreme conditions and demanding expeditions after climbing Mt Everest six times. But this trip comes with new threats, including trekking through ‘Polar Bear alley’, open water cracks in the ice known as ‘leads’ and a wind-chill that can push temperatures down as low as-45 degrees Celsius.
Gavin acknowledges “to some, skiing to a pole or climbing a mountain can be viewed as essentially a selfish and pointless exercise in the grander scheme” but explains, “These personal expeditions do however gain public interest, and if I can use my personal endeavours to also raise awareness of, and funds for, the fantastic work of the Moving Mountains Trust, then it also greatly enhances the motivation and satisfaction behind the trip.”
“I am very excited about this expedition” enthuses Gavin, “despite all the potential dangers and hardships. This is the type of experience that makes me feel truly alive. It reduces one’s daily life to the barest of essentials of survival; something that I find aesthetically very calming.”
Completing this expedition will also see Gavin ever-closer to achieving the ‘Explorers Grand Slam’, a challenge that includes reaching the North and South Poles along with all of the Seven Summits. If he successfully reaches the North Pole, he will have just the South Pole left to visit!